Category Archives: Ars Poetica

Drought

the rain begins falling on the footpath,
a polite smattering of applause
before the crescendo of ovation

rises, peaks, slackens and fades
watering the seed fallen on stony ground
while the petrichor rises in wisps
then dissipates
the incense to your leaving
and the beginning of the drought

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Graffiti

 

to erase me is to wipe
away the graffiti as though
it can make up for the 
late night tags written
under cover of darkness
where I wear the smell
of spray cans as deodorant 
and the rattle of the ball bearing
the music of our minds

This came about because my daughters had this whiteboard in the lounge room when they were practicing dance and Physie routines. The board was clean and next to it was the whiteboard marker and eraser. I debated getting the black whiteboard marker from my pencil case (I am a teacher after all) but stuck with the purple and wrote this up on the spur of the moment, tapping into the impermanency of the surface and the content of the poem. Tonight the girls are using the white board to play games of Hangman.

As a side note, does anyone else have trouble spelling “graffiti”? I always mix up the number of “f’s” or “t’s” but thankfully I wrote it correctly.

Kinetic Energy

the time I spilled Hundred and Thousands
on the kitchen floor trying to make
fairy bread (because mum said we
weren’t allowed to have it)
I blamed it on you

as they scattered, we collided
with one thousand reasons
ricocheted off a million pretences
and you swept up the mess
collecting the coloured atoms
of our relationship

and the sugared balls hitting
the plastic bag of the bin
sounded like rain

Doubts Like Roses

tend doubts like roses but treat happiness like weeds
which sprout in the cracks of the daylight hours
are cut down and thrown into the sunset fire

turn the epidermis of the earth
crack the bones and extract the marrow
mix in the ash and pack the compost

around the base of the roses. And when the petals
have fallen in their season, prune with abandon
until a solitary stem remains

The Overripe Plum

I ate an overripe plum
on the afternoon
of my father’s funeral
eaten a day or two late
piercing the skin, tight and purple
the soft flesh a mushy pulp
first the sweetness
chased by the sharp, acid tang
digging the stone from the 
centre with my teeth
while the juice dribbled down
my fingers, a puddle in
my palm

 

Sometimes you have moments when an idea forms as a cohesive whole and coalesces like breath. You quickly capture the moment, preserve it and share it. This is one of those times. It’s not autobiographical, simply an idea sparked by something I was reading and afterwards reminded me of William Carlos Williams’ poem, “This Is Just To Say.”
It’s not summer in Australia (we’re heading into winter) but plums have always been one of my favourite summer stone fruits.

The Flood

Next, I take from the fridge door
the salvage of invitations and
newsletters and takeaway menus
and children’s artwork and
decade old photos; the gospel
of our relationship and spread
them out in the backyard
fashion a single sheet of paper
fold an origami boat for when
the next flood envelopes us and
we float on the drift water.
And when the dove returns
we will unfold the paper
smooth it out and put it back
on the fridge for the next time

Weekend Blackouts

No, not a weekend of debauchery but snaffling a few minutes for some creativity in the midst of a crazy busy week.

Meanwhile the novella lies neglected waiting for a brief respite from the chaos to get more words out and finish it. The end of it is so very close.

Anyway, blackout poetry is like little moments of clarity. Find the right words and erase the rest.